We must change faster than the climate

A transition to a low-carbon economy is achievable, but will require a concerted, more consistent effort across a range of policy areas, from tradeable permits to stringent norms.

The climate is changing–not for the better, but for good. Governments want to limit the global temperature increase to less than 2⁰C, which implies that greenhouse gases (GHG) pumped into the atmosphere by human activity need to decline to around zero or below on a net basis towards the end of this century. GHG emissions in 2050 consistent with this target would be around 40% to 70% lower globally than in 2010. 

The world’s largest emitters have signalled their willingness to undertake strong collective action. The joint declaration between the US and China signed in Beijing in November 2014 has injected political momentum into the longer range effort to transform to low-emission-resilient economies. The US will cut its emissions from 2005 levels by up to 28% by 2025, while China said its emissions would peak around 2030. 

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